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Tag Archives: close-up

“Soul Patch” (Bearded Iris) Nikon D300, 420mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x Teleconverter), F/8, 1/100s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

One of the perks of having a garden is the opportunity to share plants with other gardeners. Many perennials benefit from being “split” and it is a great way to achieve a diverse landscape that is also, rich in history.

Prime example – the bearded irises shown here came from my good friend and next-door neighbor, Nancy, and have a 100+ year-old lineage! Imagine that! 🙂

Here’s the story as told to me by Nancy:

“They were in my mother’s grandmother’s yard and were transplanted to my aunt’s (my mother’s sister) yard in Hanson, Massachusetts. She shared them with me twenty-five years ago when she moved to Florida. I planted them in my mother-in-law’s garden in Beverly Farms and then moved them to this house in 1988. Whew! Since then I’ve shared them with many people who love irises”.

“Drawn” (Bearded Iris with Hoverfly) Nikon D300, 550mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x Teleconverter), F/11, 1/50s, ISO 640, Slightly Cropped

Aren’t I a lucky, lucky girl?And so are all of you since now you get to enjoy them as well! 🙂

I hope to split and pass some of these “heirloom” rhizomes onto some other lucky gardener(s) one day. Just the thought of them growing and blooming long after I’m gone is somehow comforting to me. My link in the “proverbial” chain of life, so to speak, albeit a teeny-tiny one.

Aside from irises, other transplant “gifts” I’ve received (as well as given) include: rhubarb, daylily, peony, hosta, azalea,  rhododendron, monkshood, balloon flower, rudbeckia and butterfly bush. I’m sure there are more but this is all I could think of! 🙂

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Each spring, the air is filled with an intoxicating fragrance emanating from my Korean Spice Viburnum. With its unmistakable aroma, you cannot help but be drawn closer.

“Aurora” (Korean Spice Viburnum, Carlesi Compacta ‘Aurora’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/3.5, 1/160s, ISO 640

The individual flowers of the viburnum are tiny and for me, have always proved difficult to photograph. Since it’s only the buds that are pink, when they ‘pop’ all you can see from above are rounded clusters of white. But, by getting underneath, I was finally able to capture the whole story of these sweet little blossoms. Hooray! 🙂

Across the yard, putting on a show of its own, stands the giant pink powderpuff that is the ‘Cornell Pink’ Manchurian Azalea. Now, while its ‘pinkness’ is indeed impressive (as seen here), I found this time I was more captivated by the flowers’ graceful stamens as they reached out with inviting gestures to all the insects and bees swarming around.

“Come to Me” (Pink Manchurian Azalea, ‘Cornell Pink’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/3.5, 1/640s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro “Expressive” Filter

So there they were, doing all the work but being overshadowed by the showiness of those fantastically colored petals. I thought by converting the image to black & white I was able to give the stamens some long overdue recognition. Don’t you agree? 🙂

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If we opened our minds to enjoyment, we might find tranquil pleasures spread about us on every side. We might live with the angels that visit us on every sunbeam, and sit with the fairies who wait on every flower. ~Samuel Smiles

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“Tulip Fairy” (Red Tulip) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 400

When I was photographing the dandelions last week, a nearby solitary red tulip caught my attention as the sun was lighting it from above, illuminating the interior like a flickering candle. I casually snapped off a few quick shots and then returned back to the dandelions, thinking nothing more of it at the time.

Imagine my surprise, then, to discover the presence of a flower fairy! She must have been watching me as they are known to be shy, yet curious spirits.

Not knowing a darn thing about flower fairies, I did a little research and was pleased to learn that the Tulip Fairy is associated with LOVE:

“Since the tulip is shaped like a chalice, this is the ‘loving cup’ from which the tulip fairy encourages you to imbibe, to feel the blessings of Nature. One of the messages of the tulip fairy is to have the courage to be vulnerable, because only in this way can any of us ever know closeness and fulfilment.”

Hmmm. I think, as artists, we often find ourselves in a place of vulnerability, essentially putting ourselves ‘out there’ for all to see and, therefore, to be criticized. I admit that some days, I struggle to find the courage to do it.

Perhaps, I simply need to look to the tulips. 🙂

Seems I’ve got a case of ‘warm fuzzies’ with all the yellow flowers blooming in the neighborhood! Now, I could have gone for forsythia, daffodil or tulip but nope. What caught my camera’s eye today were the dandelions! Go figure. 😉

“Dandy” (Taraxacum officinale, aka Common Dandelion) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/3.8, 1/2000s, ISO 200

Snubbed by most as a lowly weed, but when you get belly-down to these sunny blossoms you start to see them in a whole different light.

“The Art of the Dandelion” (Taraxacum officinale, aka Common Dandelion) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8, F/6.3, 1/200s, ISO 200

Ever take a close look at the leaves? Before today I can’t really say that I had. And there they’ve been all along…the spikey, deep green background players, edged and veined in purple, with little white tips, waiting patiently for someone, anyone, to take notice.

Well, there ya go little dandelion. Sorry it took me soooo long. 🙂

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